Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ricotta Creme Fraiche Scones, Ghostsword Fish Sweet Curry and My Almost Perfect Loaf

I thought this day will never come true - when mother in law mentioned the old school home cooks in the old days can just whisk up some batches of scones when unexpected guests arrive - they'd make the guests cups of tea, seat the guests, chatting away with a scone dough, and minutes later, the perfect afternoon tea with the perfect scones and jam and cream.

I made 2 batches of sourdough breads during the weekend, but all used up for lunches etc and we didn't have any to freeze for the coming week's brekky... Both hubby and I have brekky on the go, so basically, some yoghurts and some home baked goods. 10pm last Sunday night, I said to hubby, well, I have to make some scones.

I didn't know what to make - flavour? I do know I have some ricotta cheese, some creme fraiche, I have to use up, and yes, loads of bananas.

So, I mashed up 2 bananas, add the rest of the ricotta cheese about 150g and all the 250g creme fraiche into the 3.5 cup self raising flour, whisked in an egg, and rubbed in 25g butter. Must say the mixture was a bit too moist to my liking so I did add a bit more dry flour as I go. Ah, I added a bit of cinneman powder and all spice, 1/2 tsp Bi-carb soda to balance the acid, before the wet stuff went in, and put in quite a generous amount (1 cup?) of sultanas.

Baked for 25 minutes whilst baking my son's school lunch (the weekly loaf) and they came out quite nicely - surprising fluffy... Finally, I can get a batch of scones out without any recipes, using whatever in my fridge... So, I'm an old school cook now?
And really happy with my loaf this week.... I make my son a loaf of bread each week for his lunch box, and it hasn't worked all that well in the last week or so, but finally, I'm back on track. I just want to give him preservative free home baked goods, and I know he likes his white bread, but if I'm baking, I can just sneak in 3/4 cup of whole meal flour...

Alright, today's dinner, I have been wondering what to do. Week day nights, dinners are usually rushed. We didn't have time to do much in between music lessons, home works (for children of course) and other bits and pieces, and of course I only have 1 hour or so to put dinner on the table and can't prepare anything during the day.
I bought some ghostsword fish - wasn't quite sure about the fish, just some fillets from the supermarket, so I think, maybe a light sweet curry. Something warm, but not heavy, we had the bacon hock soup last night.
First of all, I cut the fish fillets into 2" squares, dusted with ginger powder, white pepper, bit of salt and some tapioca flour, and let it sit for half an hour or so, whilst getting the rice and veggies ready.
In the pot, I heated up some veggie oil, sauted 1 sliced red onion, 1 sliced ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 sliced fresh red chillie with no seeds (I did say mild today), until slightly cooked, then I add 2 tsp of powders (a mixture tumeric, corriander, cummin, cardemon, nutmeg, cinnemon, bits and pieces I found in my spice box, I do use ground spice as it's easier for me) and no chillie powder - normally I'd add more but I wasn't sure if I would use the same sauce for the children, and I do know they can't handle the spices all that well.
I added a can of coconut milk, some white wine, 2tsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp of salt and 1tsp of raw sugar (if you have palm sugar, use that), added in some chopped lemon grass and 3 kaffir lime leaves, a small slice of lemon, and let it simmer.
Meanwhile in another non stick frying pan, I heated up some oil and shallow fried the fish pieces to almost cooked by themselves, and set aside. I chose to do the fish separately because they'd keep the shape better if I fried them by themselves first, and also I do have a choice to seperate kids and adult meals - as it turned out, the sauce (even I toned down) was still to spicey for the children, so I used another pot to tone down further for them with their fish pieces...
I added one tomato cut up in chunk to the pot, and added the fish pieces and a sprig of corriander for the adults.

after 15-20 minutes, the sauce became thicker, and I served up with steamed rice and veggies. Simple food, warm enough for winter and not to heavy.

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